MLS Fantasy 2018: Gameweek 34 - Captaincy Picks
Picking a Captain to double down on in MLS Fantasy is the most important choice ahead of each of the 34 regular season Gameweek's in MLS's season. There's a lot of self-help out there for MLS enthusiasts, with our Hype Team providing three major considerations for the armband for each and every Gameweek. We'll be detailing the top choice for captain in home and away matches, and a Wildcard pick of our choosing to add to the chaos. All aboard.
MLS Fantasy: Gameweek 34 Deadline
For the 2018 MLS Fantasy season there is a 'Rolling Lockout', which means you can make substitutions and transfers until the second a player's game kicks off, which means you can chop and change your lineup as any Gameweek progresses.
You can view the schedule and a real time Gameweek deadline countdown clock (in the London GMT timezone) on our dedicated MLS Fantasy page.
Captaincy in MLS Fantasy
There are a few differences with picking a captain in MLS compared to playing other games such as FPL. The major element to note with our Captaincy article is that we'll be picking a captain who is playing home and away, as well as a Wildcard player of our own choosing.
We've listed the differences below that make captaincy in MLS Fantasy unique:
- With the Rolling Lockout, you can change your captain until the selected captaincy pick plays
- Once the team your captaincy pick takes to the field, you can no longer change your captain
- If your captaincy pick doesn't play, then you'll end up with nothing
- There is no option to select a vice captain
CAPTAINCY HYPE: 2018 SEASON PERFORMANCE
In each Captaincy article we track our progress throughout the 2018 MLS Fantasy season. Below you can check how our captaincy selections have performed by week to week in Major League Soccer.
Home: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto 0-2 Columbus Crew) - 3pts
Away: Josef Martinez (Houston Dynamo 4-0 Atlanta United) - 5pts
Wildcard: Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders 0-1 LAFC) - 9pts
Home: David Villa (NYCFC 2-1 LA Galaxy) - 10pts
Away: Yamil Asad (Atlanta United 3-1 D.C. United) - 2pts
Wildcard: Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps) - 9pts
Home: David Villa (NYCFC 2-0 Orlando City) - 0pts
Away: Nemanja Nikolic (Minnesota United 2-1 Chicago Fire) - 2pts
Wildcard: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United 4-1 Vancouver Whitecaps) - 10pts
Home: Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew 3-1 D.C. United) - 2pts
Away: Maxi Moralez (New England Revolution 2-2 NYCFC) - 4pts
Wildcard: Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls 3-0 Minnesota United) - 13pts
Home: Felipe Gutierrez (Sporting Kansas City 1-0 D.C. United) - 6pts
Away: Carlos Vela (LA Galaxy 4-3 LAFC) - 15pts
Wildcard: Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo 0-2 New England Revolution) - 3pts
Home: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United 5-0 LAFC) - 20pts
Away: Carlos Vela (Atlanta United 5-0 LAFC) - 3pts
Wildcard: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy 0-2 Sporting Kansas City) - 2pts
Home: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United 2-2 NYCFC) - 10pts
Away: Sacha Kljestan (Philadelphia Union 0-2 Orlando City) - 8pts
Wildcard: Maxi Moralez (NYCFC 4-0 RSL // Atlanta 2-2 NYCFC) - 23pts
Home: Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls 1-2 Chicago Fire) - 10pts
Away: Miguel Almiron (LA Galaxy 0-2 Atlanta United) - 14pts
Wildcard: Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo 5-1 Toronto) - 8pts
Home: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United 4-1 Montreal Impact) - 15pts
Away: Dom Dwyer (Colorado Rapids 1-2 Orlando City) - 2pts
Wildcard: Carlos Vela (LAFC 1-0 Seattle Sounders) - 5pts
Home: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto 3-0 Philadelphia Union) - 12pts
Away: Miguel Almiron (Chicago Fire 1-2 Atlanta United) - 10pts
Wildcard: Darwin Quintero (Minnesota United 1-0 Vancouver Whitecaps) - 3pts
Home: Carlos Vela (LAFC 2-0 Minnesota United & LAFC 2-2 NYCFC) - 18pts
Away: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta 0-2 Sporting KC & Orlando City 1-2 Atlanta) - 12pts
Wildcard: Darwin Quintero (Toronto 1-2 Seattle & New England 3-2 Toronto) - 16pts
Home: David Villa (NYCFC 4-0 Colorado Rapids) - 17pts
Away: Magnus Eriksson (Vancouver 2-2 San Jose & San Jose 1-3 D.C. United) - 7pts
Wildcard: Kei Kamara (Vancouver 2-2 San Jose & Dallas 2-2 Vancouver) - 9pts
Home: Carlos Vela (LAFC 1-1 D.C. United) - 5pts
Away: Diego Valeri (Colorado Rapids 2-3 Portland Timbers) - 7pts
Wildcard: Ola Kamara (LA Galaxy 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes) - 2pts
Home: Miguel Almiron (New England 1-1 Atlanta & Atlanta 3-1 Philadelphia) - 18pts
Away: Alberth Elis (RSL 2-1 Houston & Montreal 1-0 Houston Dynamo) - 8pts
Wildcard: Maxi Urruti (LA Galaxy 2-3 FC Dallas & FC Dallas 2-1 LAFC) - 3pts
Home: Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo 2-0 Colorado Rapids) - 2pts
Away: Sebastian Giovinco (Philadelphia Union 0-2 Toronto) - 6pts
Wildcard: Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas 2-0 Montreal Impact) - 13pts
Home: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto 4-4 D.C. United) - 9pts
Away: Josef Martinez (Columbus Crew 0-2 Atlanta United) - 6pts
Wildcard: Teal Bunbury (San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 New England Revolution) - 2pts
Home: Josef Martinez (Atlanta United 1-1 Portland Timbers) - 3pts
Away: Sebastian Giovinco (NYCFC 2-1 Toronto) - 3pts
Wildcard: Dom Dwyer (Orlando City 0-2 Montreal Impact) - 3pts
Home: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United 4-0 Portland Timbers) - 14pts
Away: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (San Jose Earthquakes 3-3 LA Galaxy) - 13pts
Wildcard: Adama Diomande (LAFC 4-1 Philadelphia Union) - 17pts
Home: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy 2-2 D.C. & LA Galaxy 4-0 Columbus) - 18pts
Away: Miguel Almiron (FC Dallas 3-2 Atlanta & Philadelphia 0-2 Atlanta) - 21pts
Wildcard: Alberth Elis (Houston 2-2 LAFC & Houston 3-0 Minnesota) - 19pts
Home: Maxi Moralez (NYCFC 3-0 Montreal & NYCFC 2-0 Columbus) - 18pts
Away: Ignacio Piatti (NYCFC 3-0 Montreal & Montreal 2-0 San Jose) - 17pts
Wildcard: Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago 3-4 Philadelphia & Dallas 3-1 Chicago) - 8pts
Home: Darwin Quintero (Minnesota 2-1 New England & Minnesota 5-1 LAFC) - 23pts
Away: Diego Fagundez (Minnesota 2-1 New England & New York Red Bulls 2-0 New England) - 13pts
Wildcard: Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders 2-0 Vancouver Whitecaps) - 17pts
Home: Wayne Rooney (D.C. 0-1 NY Red Bulls & D.C. 2-1 Colorado Rapids) - 8pts
Away: Maxi Moralez (Orlando City 0-2 NYCFC & Seattle Sounders 3-1 NYCFC) - 17pts
Wildcard: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LAFC 2-2 LA Galaxy & LA Galaxy 4-3 Orlando) - 29pts
Home: Josef Martinez (Atlanta United 2-2 Toronto) - 15pts
Away: Raul Ruidiaz (Minnesota United 1-2 Seattle Sounders) - 7pts
Wildcard: Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact 1-1 D.C. United) - 3pts
Home: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy 2-2 Minnesota United) - 8pts
Away: Bradley Wright-Phillips (Chicago Fire 0-1 New York Red Bulls) - 8pts
Wildcard: Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps) - 13pts
Home: Carlos Vela (LAFC 2-0 Real Salt Lake & LAFC 2-0 Colorado Rapids) - 11pts
Away: Diego Valeri (D.C. United 4-1 Portland & Sporting KC 3-0 Portland) - 4pts
Wildcard: Luciano Acosta (D.C. 4-1 Portland & D.C. 2-0 New England) - 17pts
Home: Bradley Wright-Phillips (NYCFC 1-1 NY Red Bulls & NY Red Bulls 1-0 D.C. United) - 8pts
Away: Josef Martinez (Orlando City 1-2 Atlanta United) - 7pts
Wildcard: Nicolas Lodeiro (Portland Timbers 0-1 Seattle Sounders) - 4pts
Home: Bradley Wright-Phillips (NY Red Bulls 1-0 Houston Dynamo & Montreal Impact 3-0 NY Red Bulls) - 4pts
Away: Sebastian Giovinco (Portland Timbers 2-0 Toronto & Toronto 2-4 LAFC) - 13pts
Wildcard: Luciano Acosta (D.C. United 0-2 Philadelphia Union & D.C. United 3-1 Atlanta United) - 16pts
Home: Maxi Moralez (NYCFC 0-1 New England & NYCFC 1-1 D.C. United) - 12pts
Away: Wayne Rooney (NYCFC 1-1 D.C. United) - 6pts
Wildcard: Graham Zusi (Sporting KC 1-0 Orlando City) - 9pts
Home: Wayne Rooney (D.C. United 2-1 Minnesota & D.C. United 3-3 New York Red Bulls) - 14pts
Away: Darwin Quintero (D.C. United 2-1 Minnesota United & Real Salt Lake 1-1 Minnesota United) - 11pts
Wildcard: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto 5-3 LA Galaxy) - 9pts
Home: Miguel Almiron (San Jose 3-4 Atlanta & Atlanta 2-0 Real Salt Lake) - 24pts
Away: Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers 3-2 Columbus Crew & Minnesota 3-2 Portland Timbers) - 3pts
Wildcard: Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders 0-1 Philadelphia Union & LA Galaxy 3-0 Seattle Sounders) - 4pts
Home: Maxi Moralez (NYCFC 2-0 Chicago & Minnesota 2-1 NYCFC) - 12pts
Away: Nemanja Nikolic (NYCFC 2-0 Chicago & Chicago 3-1 LAFC) - 11pts
Wildcard: Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders 4-0 Colorado Rapids) - 23pts
Home: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United 2-1 New England Revolution) - 1pt
Away: Carlos Vela (Colorado Rapids 0-3 LAFC) - 4pts
Wildcard: Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders 4-1 Houston Dynamo) - 13pts
Home: Wayne Rooney (D.C. United 1-0 FC Dallas) - 3pts
Away: Michael Barrios (D.C. United 1-0 FC Dallas) - 5pts
Wildcard: Darwin Quintero (Minnesota United 0-2 Colorado Rapids) - 2pts
Home Total: 3 (1), 10 (2), 0 (3), 2 (4), 6 (5), 20 (6), 10 (7), 10 (8), 15 (9), 12 (10), 18 (11), 17 (12), 5 (13), 18 (14), 2 (15), 9 (16), 3 (17), 14 (18), 18 (19), 18 (20), 23 (21), 8 (22), 15 (23), 8 (24), 11 (25), 8 (26), 4 (27), 12 (28), 14 (29), 24 (30), 12 (31), 1 (32), 3 (33) = 353 points
Away Total: 5 (1), 2 (2), 2 (3), 4 (4), 15 (5), 3 (6), 8 (7), 14 (8), 2 (9), 10 (10), 12 (11), 7 (12), 7 (13), 8 (14), 6 (15), 6 (16), 3 (17), 13 (18), 21 (19), 17 (20), 13 (21), 17 (22), 7 (23), 8 (24), 4 (25), 7 (26), 13 (27), 6 (28), 11 (29), 3 (30), 11 (31), 4 (32), 5 (33) = 278 points
Wildcard Total: 9 (1), 9 (2), 10 (3), 13 (4), 3 (5), 2 (6), 23 (7), 8 (8), 5 (9), 3 (10), 16 (11), 9 (12), 2 (13), 3 (14), 13 (15), 2 (16), 3 (17), 17 (18), 19 (19), 8 (20), 17 (21), 29 (22), 3 (23), 13 (24), 17 (25), 4 (26), 16 (27), 9 (28), 9 (29), 4 (30), 23 (31), 13 (32), 2 (33) = 335 points
Gameweek 34: Home Captain
Fixtures: D.C. United vs. Toronto & D.C. United vs. NYCFC
Player: Wayne Rooney (DC)
Position: Forward (CF)
Player Price: $13.3 million
It's been quite the second-half of the season for D.C. United, with the Capital club only losing twice since Week 17 (halfway through the season). Ben Olsen's side haven't lost in 7 games and scored a dramatic late winner to down the West's top side, Dallas, to win a third consecutive MLS match, meaning DC occupy the final play-off spot in the Eastern Conference with just 3 games left to play.
If the 'zeroes to heroes' story is to be complete, the job is quite simple for DC - win both their remaining home fixtures against Toronto and NYCFC, which might be an easier job on paper given individual circumstances. Toronto can't quality for the post-season play-off and might be more motivated to see Montreal Impact suffer their same fate, whilst NYCFC have already qualified in the East and will only be looking to keep up appearances before the first play-off bracket.
Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta have been pivotal to D.C. United, with the English attacker managing 16 attacking returns (9 goals, 7 assists) in just 17 league appearances. Both have seen their Fantasy scores faded in recent weeks, but with the final push on the horizon, there could be one last major haul for the pair of them.
Rooney's set-piece potential just edges Acosta this week in the titular captaincy role, and we've no doubt that D.C. United, who have beaten all the big boys on their route up the table, can do the same again against two sides two have been below-par in recent weeks and months.
MLS Fantasy players will no doubt be backing Rooney this week, as will we, so it's the safe but assured bet heading into the last Double Gameweek of the season.
Gameweek 34: Away Captain
Fixtures: D.C. United v.s Toronto & Montreal Impact vs. Toronto
Player: Sebastian Giovinco (TOR)
Position: Forward (CAM / CF)
Player Price: $14.5 million
Our analysis of Toronto above might not have been overly complimentary, but the reigning MLS Cup holders do not deserve lavish praise for an average season. Writing was on the wall on opening day in a 2-0 home defeat to Columbus Crew and that trend has followed throughout a season that has been outweighed with more lows than highs.
A few shining lights have kept Toronto somewhat in contention for a play-off place this season, with the form of Jonathan Osorio and Sebastian Giovinco helping drag the champions to just 33 points and 9th place in the East this season.
Of the sides who sit outside the play-off spots, only LA Galaxy (61) have scored more goals than Toronto (55). Italian attacker, Giovionco, has been involved in 26 of Toronto's goals and for much of this season has remained a solid Fantasy option despite a disappointing season.
Giovinco remains in contention because of the perception that we carry with MLS - it is as unpredictable as the English Championship. We have heaped weekly praise on D.C. United's rise and Atlanta's attackers for most of the 2018 campaign, but that doesn't stop a highly-talented Giovinco putting a stop to that with no warning.
With Giovinco on set-pieces for his side, he poses a real threat to both D.C. United's and Montreal's path to the play-offs, and wouldn't it be fitting for the Italian to core the winner that ends Montreal's post-season hopes.
Gameweek 34: Wildcard Captain
Fixtures: Real Salt Lake vs. New England Revolution & Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers
Player: Albert Rusnak (RSL)
Position: Midfielder (CAM)
Player Price: $11.8 million
With MLS featuring 23 teams this season, one team will finish their season this weekend, and that side is Real Salt Lake - a team that probably wishes they didn't have to play 2 games in the space of 3 days to end their season.
To make a photo finish of the season even more tense, RSL occupy 6th place in the West with 46 points. LA Galaxy sit just below them with 45 points. Both teams have played 32 games. The conspiracy theorists out there believe that league officials would prefer to have LA Galaxy in the play-offs due to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's global appeal, and this reality it is highly possible.
LA Galaxy end their season by travelling to Minnesota before hosting Houston Dynamo on the final day next weekend. Both are winnable games with Minnesota and Houston eliminated from play-off contention.
Destiny though still sits with RSL because of the single point advantage, though they'll be cursing fixture congestion as they host New England on Thursday night before a Sunday evening fixture against Portland Timbers away from home. It is the equivalent of a Europa League side that is living with a Thursday/Sunday routine.
RSL's route is quite simple. Win both games and deny Zlatan the opportunity to add to his trophy haul across the world. For MLS Fantasy players who are looking for a left-field option to D.C. United or Sebastian Giovinco, due to RSL having to throw the kitchen sink at New England and Portland this week, Albert Rusnak is the likely hero in a side desperate to cling hold of their position.
LOike Rooney and Gio, Rusnak will command set-pieces and is RSL's turn of quality in the attacking third. We anticipate that Rusnak will feature in Fantasy squads quite heavily this week and his captaincy, though unlikely, won't conflict with any fixtures clashes including D.C. United and Toronto.
It's shaping up to be an unforgettable end to the season.
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